Rabu, 09 Januari 2013

City fans return tickets in protest

The game was classed as a 'Category A' game by Arsenal, meaning tickets were priced at 62, a price that many City fans decided was a step too far and refused to pay.

Rumours circulated on Tuesday of around 2,000 tickets being returned as part of the protest, but according to The Daily Telegraph the acutal figure was 912.

Protests against ticket prices have increased in recent times as the amount of money asked for by clubs goes up and up. A ticket for the same game in 2009 cost 32.50, when City were of course not yet Premier League champions and thus theoretically less of a 'draw'.

Kevin Parker, the general secretary of the Manchester City Supporters Club, told The Guardian: "It's the most expensive amount I can ever remember paying for a ticket in my life, for a Sunday afternoon game which is live on satellite television.

"And it's not as if finding a television to watch the game on is difficult nowadays. Even if the game wasn't live, to charge 62 to watch it is ridiculous, but to charge that amount when people can see it live on TV is crazy.

"It just shows that football clubs are out of touch with reality. If City supporters are travelling on a supporters' club coach it will cost 30 per person. That's 92 before they have even done anything; add in a programme, food, drink and you are looking at 125-130 per person.

"There are a combination of things at play here. Some people cannot afford the price, especially as it is just after Christmas, and there are some who just refuse to pay 62. This is also the first time in a long while that I remember City fans saying to me they could pay the money but are refusing to do so. That is a brave decision to take. Soon, though, fans will vote more strongly with their feet and clubs like Arsenal will have to decide what to do about ticket prices."

City themselves are not immune to high prices - the top price for Arsenal fans in the corresponding fixtu re earlier this season was 51, while the top price for tickets at the Etihad this season has been 58.

Arsenal fans have been vocal in their own protests against high ticket prices, with their own season tickets sold at a top rate of 1,955 - the most in the Premier League.

Despite the action, it may not hit Arsenal in the pocket, as City fans hoped - the returned tickets will be put on sale to home fans, and it is expected that they will all be sold for the game on Sunday.

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